My Two Cents
We’ve got just a quick post for you today as we’ll be working on reviews for the rest of the day.
But we do have a couple of things to report...
First, today is Disney’s Investor Day, which means the is expected to reveal big plans for Disney+, how the studio will handle its forthcoming theatrical slate for the next year, and what new streaming series and films they have in the pipeline (Star Wars, Marvel, etc). They MIGHT even reveal that long-rumored Disney18+ service expansion, that would see the studio adding R-rated films from Fox to their streaming service (in a section of the service protected from discovery by younger children by a passcode). Whatever news is revealed today, we expect that Disney means to make a big splash—their stock is trading at an all-time high today in anticipation of the news (see this link). Be sure to watch the trades this afternoon as word breaks—Deadline, Variety, and the Hollywood Reporter.
[Editor’s Note: Disney has now confirmed that its Disney+ streaming service has reached over 86 million global subscribers, and that it plans to launch “roughly” 10 new Marvel shows, 10 new Star Wars shows, 15 Disney live-action, Disney animation, and Pixar series, and 15 Disney live-action, Disney animation, and Pixar feature films over the next few years. They’re also integrating a new Star service with Disney+ (for now only internationally) which will include R-rated Fox content. (This appears to be the source of the Disney18+ rumor.) In the US, it appears that R-rated Fox content (from 20th Century Studios and Searchlight) will appear on Hulu.]
Meanwhile, Criterion has just revealed plans to release a new World of Wong Kar-wai Blu-ray collection on March 23, 2021. [Read on here...]
All right, we’ve got an announcement news update for you here at The Bits this afternoon...
First up today, Kino Lorber Studio Classics has officially set their long-awaited Spaceballs (1987) 4K Ultra HD for release on 4/12. The 4K disc will include Dolby Vision HDR and audio commentary by Mel Brooks. Audio will be includes in 5.1 and 2.0 (format TBA) with optional English subs. You’ll also get the film on Blu-ray, which will include lots of additional legacy extras. You can see the 4K art at left. We’ve updated our 4K Ultra HD Release List here at The Bits accordingly.
The company also has a nice March slate of catalog Blu-ray titles, which is expected to include Sidney Lanfield’s My Favorite Blonde (1942), David Butler’s Caught in the Draft (1941), and Elliott Nugent’s Nothing But the Truth (1941) on 3/2 (all Bob Hope films), followed by Don Jones’ The Forest (1982, for Code Red), Sam Peckinpah’s Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974), Robert Aldrich’s The Choirboys (1977), and Richard Fleischer’s The Don is Dead (1973) on 3/9, Jim O’Connoly’s Tower of Evil (1972, for Scorpion Releasing), Andy Anderson’s Positive I.D. (1986), Francis Megahy’s Taffin (1988), Andrei Konchalovsky’s Runaway Train (1985), and Marty Feldman’s The Last Remake of Beau Geste (1977) and In God We Trust (1980) on 3/16, Don Jones’ Schoolgirls in Chains (1973, for Code Red), Frank Perry’s Doc (1971), George Seaton’s Showdown (1973), Henry Hathaway’s Shoot Out (1971), and Richard Fleischer’s Crossed Swords (1977, aka The Prince and the Pauper) on 3/23, and Otto Preminger’s Rosebud (1975), Andrew Bergman’s Isn’t She Great (2000), Édouard Molinaro’s A Pain in the Ass (1973), and Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution (2007) on 3/30. [Read on here...]
Afternoon, folks! We’ve got a late Bits post for you today with some reviews and catch up on a bit of release news as well. First, those reviews...
Tim has checked in with his thoughts on Douglas Trumbull’s Silent Running (1972), now available on Blu-ray from our friends at Arrow Video.
He’s also posted a review of Douglas Sirk’s Taza, Son of Cochise (1954), a classic Technicolor western staring Rock Hudson, now available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. The disc includes a new 3D presentation restored by the 3D Film Archive as well.
Not done yet: Tim has also reviewed Terence Fisher’s The Brides of Dracula (1960), the Hammer Films classic staring Peter Cushing newly available on Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from the good folks over at Scream Factory.
And finally, Dennis has checked in with his thoughts on Mario Camerini and Mario Bava’s Ulysses (1954) on Blu-ray, also from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. [Read on here...]
Well folks, this news is not unexpected. But it’s certainly shocking to see a major Hollywood film studio finally do more than just dip their toes in the streaming waters.
Warner Bros. has now official confirmed that it plans to bypass traditional theatrical windowing and release its entire 2021 slate of films titles day-and-date on HBO Max with the normal theatrical release. Each film will be available for streaming on the service for a 31-day window. This includes Dune, The Matrix 4, The Suicide Squad, Godzilla vs. Kong, and Space Jam: A New Legacy.
We already saw Warner Bros. signal this shift last month with the announcement that Wonder Woman 1984 will arrive on HBO Max with its long-awaited theatrical release on 12/25. Now it looks like they’ve just pushed their chips all in on this move. [Read on here...]
Well... the day is finally here. Many of you are no doubt picking up or receiving in the mail your copies of Warner’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit in 4K Ultra HD. I hope you all enjoy them as much as I did!
There have been reports of Amazon and other retailers running out of stock this week, and that’s no doubt because Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is scrambling to manufacture enough copies to meet demand.
Keep in mind that there’s only one physical media replication plant in all of North America now and every studio is trying to get their big Q4 titles produced there at the moment.
But I would imagine that more stock will arrive in the next week or two, so that everyone who wants a copy should be able to get one by Christmas. [Read on here...]